Tag Archive: books

Sep 16

Surround Yourself with Happiness

We are truly blessed to have Deborahmichelle Sanders’ permission to run some abstracts from her book The Complete How to Repair Your World Toolkit. One of the ideas that she talks about in great detail is the importance of how your home is set up and decorated. Some of her ideas follow… Display as many …

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Sep 13

The Complete How to Repair Your World Toolkit

A wise woman who has had more than her share of challenges and yet has overcome them with grace, intelligence and determination, Deborahmichelle Sanders, recently published a toolkit for people who are recovering from a serious mental illness. She has kindly offered to allow us to excerpt some portions of the toolkit for readers of …

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Jul 20

Mindfulness for Bipolar – Eric

Could mindfulness meditation be a viable treatment for bipolar disorder? What are the aims of modern-day meditation? Transcendence? Inner peace? Maybe a sort of vague, on-and-off tingling around your body where you think your chakras should be? With mindfulness meditation, there really aren’t any guarantees. In fact, just having any expectations, or the experience of …

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May 13

Hypomania and Success

Hypomania and Success

During the 1990s clinical psychologist John Gartner was planning on writing a book about religious movements started by manic profits, but he began to be distracted by the energy and excitement swirling around him as people became immersed in the Internet “bubble”. He decided instead to write a book about the relationship between hypomania and success …

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Dec 04

Welcome to the Jungle

welcome to the jungle

Since Welcome to the Jungle is a book about bipolar written for young adults. And since most people are diagnosed with bipolar as young adults, often thrown into a world of confusingly contradictory information, needing to suddenly understand a complicated condition, and make important self care decisions, when they have only recently started living independently, …

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Nov 17

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle is a nice addition to the large list of bipolar self help books. Hillary Smith has written a book for the young person dealing with a new diagnosis. The information is up to date, but the tone is informal, and respectful of the mix of feelings that many people have facing …

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Nov 03

Bipolar Books – Marbles

Bipolar books-marbles mania depression

Bipolar books are coming out with greater frequency. I’m hoping to focus on some of the more creative examples in this site. I’m happy, once again, to post a sample of a wonderful book by Ellen Forney called Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me. This is a delightful cartoon book that was a New York …

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Sep 06

A Master Storyteller Writes About Homeless People

Master Storyteller Writes About Homeless

Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Street Dr. Okin is a master story teller. Still, when I decided to read the book I was ambivalent. I thought to myself, this is a book that I should read, and reluctantly put it in my bag for the holiday weekend. It turned out to be …

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Aug 08

Getting Things Done: Four Quadrants and Setting Priorities

First Things First The process of getting well, or of gaining or regaining a greater sense of confidence and control over your life can seem overwhelming to almost anyone. That is part of the reason for having someone who can be a guide or facilitator (a therapist or coach). On this page we talk about …

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Nov 11

Learn How to Hardwire Happiness

As many of you know, I am a big fan of the new book, Hardwiring Happiness. One of the blog’s readers sent me this link to an upcoming class by the author – http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?com=detail&eID=10743 The class is this coming Saturday, and should be a GREAT experience. If you go I would love to hear from …

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Nov 01

Protected: Making Sense of Mental Illness in a Family Member

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Oct 23

Hardwiring Happiness

Sometimes it is simple ideas that resonate the most powerfully with our psyches.  This week I have found myself, again and again, thinking about the fairly simple but quite elegantly described ideas in the book Hard Wiring Happiness. I should probably admit that I’ve only gotten about half way through the book, but even so, …

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Aug 24

“Normal” Sleep

One of the justifiable criticisms of psychiatry is that it has a tendency to define a relatively narrow range of behavior as normal. We often tell the psychiatry residents to watch out for this tendency, and try to avoid it. Certainly sleep medicine is at least as prone to this tendency as psychiatry, as we …

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Jul 19

My Brain is Trying to Kill Me

Sometimes brains do terrible things. One of the worst of those things is the suicidal preoccupation that can, eventually, lead to suicide itself. Over the years I have done a lot of thinking about suicide and suicidal preoccupation. One aspect of thoughts of suicide is the data about what happens when someone tries to kill …

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May 17


In the next few days the American Psychiatric Association is meeting in San Francisco and will announce the latest version of its diagnostic and statistical manual: DSM5. Tom Insel, the Chief of the National Institute for Mental Health, created quite a stir last week by seeming to announce that the new diagnostic manual was an …

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Feb 21


The New York Times recently published an intriguing article entitled “Relax, You Will Be More Effective.” It arrived at just the right time. Preparing for an upcoming vacation had made me particularly hectic. And then, while I was on vacation and writing this post, I got a blog post from MoodScope which was devoted to …

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Nov 23


The “hot” thing in the therapy world these days is something called ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). The radical notion behind ACT is that therapy should not be primarily about reducing symptoms (like depression) but rather increasing our ability to have a valued life (a life that is based on our deepest values) even though …

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Sep 16

Moodsurfing: Catching Our Breath


It has been four months since Moodsurfing has started. More than a hundred articles, thousands of visitors. Thanks for your support. We have obviously had things to say that were meaningful, maybe we said things that were annoying, hopefully not too many things were flat out dumb. It is a good start, but we still …

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Sep 15

Bad Memories

Unstable moods and bad memories seem to go together. In the clinic where many of us work we have noticed how often it is that folks who we see with bipolar have had traumatic experiences in childhood. Why that happens is speculation. But we do know that dealing with those experiences can be very, very …

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Sep 11

The Heart of Evil

We have had the experience of feeling that we were in the presence of evil. A sense of foreboding, a shiver that involuntarily runs down the spine. An awareness that our expectations of rational behavior in others may be misplaced. As we have experienced it evil may be clever, but it is not creative. At …

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